This post continues the biblical requirements of the school Administrator. (Headmaster, Principal, whatever your school calls the position)
Previously I mentioned the style and personalities of Jesus, that the school Administrator is to emulate. Let’s think about what Jesus is like. What words come to mind? What traits does Jesus have? I will mention some here, but you may have others also that I didn’t write down here. I am sure yours will be just as good to make my point as the ones I come up with. All accurate descriptions of Jesus will be what the school Administrator should be like. Here are a few I came up with:
Loving. The first word I think of when describing Jesus is love. John 15:12-13 describes this love, and is Jesus that said it: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
A school Administrator should be loving, which includes caring, devoted, and warm.
Sacrificial. Reading the passage above, you will also see that Jesus loved people so much, that he willingly and sacrificially gave His life for them (us) so they would not have to pay the penalty for their sins. That is the ultimate sacrifice and display of love. Since few of us will show our love for others by dying for them, the best way to show love is some sort of sacrifice. A school Administrator is sacrificial, and gives up his/her time, things he/she pridefully holds on to, gives up some worldly or material things. Defends God’s word, even when it hurts. Defends his/her staff even if it hurts.
Humble. Jesus was God’s Son in Heaven, ruler of the universe. He was obedient to God the Father, and became a human, without a home or place to lay his head, and ultimately was executed to save people. That is humility. Yet, He made such an impact as a leader that He changed the whole world. A school Administrator is to be humble, obedient to God, not a powerful ruler but a servant. Humility is a trait of a true Christian, even Christian leaders, because they endeavor to be like Jesus.
Serving. Jesus served God, and served people. He met people’s needs wherever He went, especially their need for salvation from their sins. A school Administrator is to serve his/her school and serve his/her staff. Yes, SERVE them. My favorite book on leadership is “Management: a Biblical Approach” by Myron Rush. In it, Mr. Rush states that “The authoritarian approach to management stimulates discontent, frustration, and negative attitudes toward leadership”[i] “…the biblical approach to management can be defined as follows: Management is meeting the needs of people as they work at accomplishing their jobs.”[ii] He also quotes Lee Brase, a Christian leader who said “I have discovered that if you train a man, he will become what you are, but if you serve him, the sky is the limit as to what he can become”.[iii]
Disciplinarian. This includes the words “just”, “firm”, “impartial”, “equal”, and “loving”. A school Administrator knows and holds to the rules of the school, and the rules of the Bible. He/she is not biased, treats all staff the same, treats all students the same, and shows no favoritism. When discipline is required, the Administrator patiently and methodically researches all facts to ensure the truth of the offense, determines appropriate punishment, explains the offense – especially from the biblical point of view – including the sin committed and requests/requires repentance, administers the punishment, then assures their love for the offender, and forgets the offence. Just as God does.
Hard worker. Just as a good servant works hard for their master, the school Administrator works hard as if working for the Lord. (Ephesians 6:7: “with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,”) Jesus worked hard; VERY hard. The Administrator’s good hard work ethic is to be the example and standard for his/her staff to follow. Just as he/she is to follow the example and standard set by Jesus.
Encourager. One of my favorite people in the Bible, one that I suggest we all try to emulate, especially a school Administrator, is Barnabas (his name was actually Joses, but people called him Barnabas which means “encourager”). In Acts 4:36-37 we see Barnabas as a land owner that sold his land and gave the money to the apostles, which was at that point in the early church, quite an encouragement. In Acts 9:27 shortly after the conversion of Saul (Paul) when Saul went to Jerusalem to try to meet with Jesus’ disciples, they all were afraid of him and didn’t believe him, except for Barnabas, who broke from them and stood by Saul’s side and explained to them about how Jesus met Saul on the road and how Saul preached boldly in Damascus. Barnabas had an uncanny way about him that saw Gods good in people, and to try and bring that out. And again, it Acts 11:19-26 when the growth of the early church was sputtering, Barnabas went out into the surrounding areas “…and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.” He stayed in Antioch for a little while, and it was there that the disciples were first called Christians. Barnabas was part of the first “Christians”, a nice “tie-in” with the term Christian school. Administrator, be like Barnabas, see the good in people that God has given them, and encourage them with that. Encourage your staff and students “to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose”. Be a person that is “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (they are different than most people). I would like to add that you cannot be an “encourager” if you are selfish, and prideful. Both of those are sinful traits, and are NOT traits of Jesus.
Obviously this list can go on for a while, but let me mention a few more, and I want you to read each one, and ponder them, and ask that if you are a school Administrator, do you have these traits? If not, what are you going to do to gain them?
Patient. Honorable. Courageous. Passionate. Joyful. Self controlled.
[i] Management: A Biblical Approach. Myron Rush. Pg. 12, Eighth printing 1988 Victor Books, a division of SP Publications, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois 60187
[ii] Management: A Biblical Approach. Myron Rush. Pg. 13, Eighth printing 1988 Victor Books, a division of SP Publications, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois 60187
[iii] Management: A Biblical Approach. Myron Rush. Pg. 13-15, Eighth printing 1988 Victor Books, a division of SP Publications, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois 60187